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NextGen Nordics: P27 provides updated timeline

NextGen Nordics: P27 provides updated timeline

NextGen Nordics marks the first in person event run by Finextra since 2019, and the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on payments was something Gary Wright, head of research at Finextra, reflected on in his keynote speech.

The lack of direct connectivity is something which may have impacted the goal of P27. Wright stated, “it's lovely to see everybody here doing what I think everybody wants to do best, which is to network face to face in person and enjoy each other's company and push forward with all the initiatives in in this ever changing industry.”

While discussing digitalisation, mostly informed by Finextra’s previous P27 conference in Stockholm, Wright noted that, “it isn’t enough to think about transforming your business, it is how you carry the workforce and population of the company with you, and how do you achieve that through existing people?”

Wright pointed out that despite the positives, in regards to the digitalisation process, “one of the biggest gripes we see in terms of the industry and the corporate sector is we’re not seeing enough benefits of what is happening.”

These sentiments were followed by the panel, 'P27 – establishing a single pan-Nordic payment infrastructure' began. The panel was moderated by Anna Milne, editor at Finextra, who was joined by Martin Georgzén, head of customers and relations at P27; Jonas Palm, Nordic product manager cash management at BNP Paribas; Sami Uski, head of business development, banking at Tieto; and Paiak Vaid, head of global partnerships at TrueLayer.

Starting off where the 2019 P27 conference left off, the discussion began with an update of preparations for P27. Georgzén commented: “We are focusing full steam ahead now to try to get up and running. We have been preparing and planning and trying to get all the things in place during last couple of years. And now we're getting closer and closer to actually a launch when we starting to send money.”

Georgzén noted key areas of preparation which include building up the P27 company, building up the infrastructure for customers and banks, and their vendor becoming ready with their preparation.

Providing a bank perspective, Palm reported that their status is that they are “at one end implementing actual payment rails internally, looking at the customer interfaces, as the file integrations as well as the internet integrations, but also managing the new products, or that's going to be evolving under the P27.”

Palm further commented that “I think actually the corporates in the Nordics are a lot more ready than they are in general across the globe. It's not just banks that are quite digital. It's even on the corporate side there. They've gotten quite far in their digital journeys.”

Vaid provided a slightly different perspective adding that, “P27 is that input that allows us to create that super slick experience for our merchants and be give them the ability to have this modular white label experience with their consumers that they can then ultimately embed into their solution.”

From the position of a smaller bank, Uski stated, “the small banks have a little bit trouble because onboarding process is the same. If you have a big bank and small bank, you can follow the same onboarding procedure. So it's quite demanding, it can be quite demanding for the small banks to follow.”

Palm added to this, “one of the things as well that we are very focused on is now how we, as a small bank, will be able to launch product and geography after each other in the same way that the Nordic banks are right now are in the process of planning. For us, it becomes everything in government from here, but being produced in other countries and having a lot of more complexity and trying to get them to understand what we're actually trying to achieve in each market.”

During the audience questions, Petter Sehlin from Ping Payments, asked about the timelines for P27, stating that this was a pressing issue. Georgzén responded: “There are better dates and worse dates, don’t forget this is an IT project. We will go live with the first service before the end of this year. Together with Swish and Riksbank we will do a roll out of the Swish code in Sweden.”

Georgzén further added that they will “gradually take this scheme to scheme. We will do it connected to the big implementation project the banks are doing simultaneously for central banks. So for instance, in Denmark we will do the implementation in 2025, simultaneous to when the central bank of Denmark is moving over to target. In between that there we will work on a Swedish Krona batch. There are a couple of dependencies for that scheme but the plan is to roll it out on the 2023. So then you have something that is more tangible.”

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